PKN Orlen CEO named Man of the Year of 2020 Economic Forum

PKN Orlen CEO named Man of the Year of 2020 Economic Forum Maciej Kulczyński/PAP

Daniel Obajtek, the CEO of the Polish state-run fuel giant PKN Orlen, has been awarded the title of Man of the Year of the 2020 Economic Forum 2020, now underway in Karpacz, southern Poland.

During the award ceremony held on Tuesday evening during the forum, an annual international conference that brings to Poland top politicians and economic decision makers, a congratulation letter from the head of Poland's ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski was read by Deputy PM and State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin.

The PiS leader described Obajtek as "one of the helmsmen of Polish business" and "not only a man of economic success, but also a man of mission."

"What he does as the head of Orlen is a mission serving the development of the Republic of Poland and strengthening our position in the international arena," Kaczynski wrote.

In his opinion, Obajtek's and Orlen's activities are part of the strategy to stimulate the Polish economy so as to build "the Polish version of the welfare state".

In his thank you for the award, the Orlen CEO pointed to a decision-making process as the key element of business. "At Orlen, we make decisions and look ahead. The acquisitions we make are not to satisfy someone else's ambitions, but are very important for the entire economy," he said.

Obajtek was appointed PKN Orlen CEO in 2018. He has often repeated that it is his mission and goal to build a multi-energy company based on diversified sources of income and profit.

Two years ago, he initiated PKN Orlen's merger with another Polish oil company, Lotos. In July 2020, the European Commission issued conditional consent to this takeover. Around the same time Orlen had signed a letter of intent with the State Treasury to gain control over the country's gas monopolist PGNiG. On April 1, 2020, Orlen secured an unconditional consent from the European Commission to take over Polish energy firm Energa.

In 2018, Orlen finalised the purchase of 100 percent of shares in Unipetrol, the largest refining and petrochemical concern in the Czech Republic. Another important element of the company's strategy is investing in the Lithuanian Mazeikiu oil refinery.